KAMPALA – Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has on Monday 19 lectured Kisenyi maize millers to double their efforts to improve their productivity, arguing that the current one is of poor quality and that can gradually affect human health.
Speaking at the stakeholders meeting with Kisenyi maize millers, the Principal Certification Engineer at UNBS Mr. Ronald Ahimbisibwe, noted that the maize sector is still faced with the challenges of compliance to good manufacturing practices, good hygienic practices and milling from makeshift/temporary structures that have all contributed to production of poor quality maize flour.
In the recent past, maize flour tested in the UNBS laboratories has been found to contain E.coli and aflatoxins that are danger to human health. Aflatoxins can lead to acute poisoning (aflatoxicosis) and can be life-threatening, usually causing damage to the liver.
Mr Ahimbisibwe called on maize millers to embrace certification of their products that will, in turn, increase consumer confidence in their products and help them access national and international markets.
He added that Maize flour standards states that Milled maize (corn) products shall not contain any foreign matter such as insects, fungi or dirt; shall be free from fermented musty or other objectionable odour and colours, and it shall also be wholesome and fit for human consumption in all aspects.
Mr. Bukenya, a maize miller in Kampala, said the maize grains bought from the village are very dirty and some farmers supply immature maize that has, in turn, resulted into producing flour that does not meet standards, he also urged the government to provide equipment to measure moisture content in maize flour since the majority of the millers are poor and cannot afford to buy such equipment.”
Maize flour in Uganda is produced all over Uganda with the central region housing the majority of maize flour producers/Millers (38 percent of millers).